3 Vermont troopers resign, accused of making fake COVID-19 vaccination cards

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Three Vermont troopers have resigned following allegations they may have violated federal law by creating fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards. In a news release Tuesday, Vermont State Police confirmed the resignations and announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigations has launched a criminal probe into the alleged crimes. The investigation was first reported by journalists with VTDigger. “If these allegations are proven true, it is reprehensible that state troopers would manipulate vaccination cards in the midst of a pandemic,” Col. Matthew Birmingham said in a written statement. Former troopers Shawn Sommers and Raymond Witkowski submitted their resignations on Aug. 10, according to the agency. That came one day after another trooper notified supervisors within state police about their alleged actions. A third trooper, David Pfindel, resigned Sept. 3 following an additional investigation by the Department of Public Safety. The release from state police notes that the alleged creation of fake vaccine cards was “immediately” reported to supervisors and, soon after, federal authorities. Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling noted Tuesday the agency does “not believe there is anything more state police could have done to prevent this from occurring.”An investigation through FBI offices and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Burlington will continue. State police said they were unable to release the information prior to Tuesday as a result of the ongoing federal probe. “The accusations in this case involve an extraordinary level of misconduct — a criminal violation of the law — and I could not be more upset and disappointed,” Birmingham said. Birmingham described himself as being “embarrassed” by the situation, adding it would likely result in a damaged public image for state police. Sommers and Witkowski both joined the state police in the summer of 2016. Pfindel joined the state police in 2014. This is a developing report. Please refresh this page for updates.

Three Vermont troopers have resigned following allegations they may have violated federal law by creating fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards.

In a news release Tuesday, Vermont State Police confirmed the resignations and announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigations has launched a criminal probe into the alleged crimes. The investigation was first reported by journalists with VTDigger.

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“If these allegations are proven true, it is reprehensible that state troopers would manipulate vaccination cards in the midst of a pandemic,” Col. Matthew Birmingham said in a written statement.

Former troopers Shawn Sommers and Raymond Witkowski submitted their resignations on Aug. 10, according to the agency. That came one day after another trooper notified supervisors within state police about their alleged actions.

A third trooper, David Pfindel, resigned Sept. 3 following an additional investigation by the Department of Public Safety.

The release from state police notes that the alleged creation of fake vaccine cards was “immediately” reported to supervisors and, soon after, federal authorities. Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling noted Tuesday the agency does “not believe there is anything more state police could have done to prevent this from occurring.”

An investigation through FBI offices and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Burlington will continue. State police said they were unable to release the information prior to Tuesday as a result of the ongoing federal probe.

“The accusations in this case involve an extraordinary level of misconduct — a criminal violation of the law — and I could not be more upset and disappointed,” Birmingham said.

Birmingham described himself as being “embarrassed” by the situation, adding it would likely result in a damaged public image for state police.

Sommers and Witkowski both joined the state police in the summer of 2016.

Pfindel joined the state police in 2014.

This is a developing report. Please refresh this page for updates.

Contributed by local news sources

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